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Assessing and Visualizing the Stability of Feature Selectors: A Case Study with Spectral Data

Authors: R.Guzman-Martinez, Oscar Garcia-Olalla, R.Alaiz-Rodriguez


Feature selection plays an important role in applications with high dimensional data. The assessment of the stability of feature selection/ranking algorithms becomes an important issue when the dataset is small and the aim is to gain insight into the underlying process by analyzing the most relevant features. In this work, we propose a graphical approach that enables to analyze the similarity between feature ranking techniques as well as their individual stability. Moreover, it works with whatever stability metric (Canberra distance, Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, Kuncheva's stability index,...). We illustrate this visualization technique evaluating the stability of several feature selection techniques on a spectral binary dataset. Experimental results with a neural-based classifier show that stability and ranking quality may not be linked together and both issues have to be studied jointly in order to offer answers to the domain experts.

Keywords: Data Visualization, Feature Selection Stability, Spectral data

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